Presenting Week 3 of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon

The winners, the losers, the snubs, the backstories, the gossip, the players and the games… it’s all about Oscar!

31-Days-450x300The 31 Days of Oscar blogathon, hosted by myself, Aurora of Once Upon A Screen, and Kellee of Outspoken and Freckled, continues. We’ve had two great weeks of submissions covering a wide variety of films from the silent era to this year’s nominees. So if you need more Oscar, you can also check out Week 1 and Week 2.

And now…these are the brilliant Week 3 posts, listed with Twitter handles (where available) so we can all find each other and converse.

Check out my completely random, probably totally wrong 2013 Oscar predictions, including a mini-review of Zero Dark Thirty.

“Glorious to look at, enchanting to listen to – a romance to remember…” My co-host Aurora (@CitizenScreen) reviews Midnight in Paris at Citizen Screenings.

Michael (@le0pard13) from It Rains… You Get Wet was a projectionist for a while, which I think eminently qualifies him to revise Oscar snubs from the 1970s and then make 1980s Oscar wrongs right as well.

Rich (@ratzo318) of Wide Screen World loves a good song and dance…for instance, octuple Oscar winner Cabaret.

The Nitrate Diva (@NitrateDiva) explores the connections between “spiritual sisters” and Oscar cinematography winners Black Narcissus and Apocalypse Now.

The Focused Filmographer (T, aka @FilmsWith_T) spotlights two criminally overlooked Oscar-worthy performances from 2012, one in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the other in Les Misérables.

Paul (@LassoTheMovies) from Lasso The Movies discusses the similarities between 1940’s and 2012’s Oscar nominees, particularly the diversity of genres.

Pete (@FuriousCinema) from Furious Cinema reviews The Master, “another masterwork from visionary filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.”

The Gal Herself discusses “the first time Mr. Lincoln was in the house,” 1940 Best Actor race at One Gal’s Musings.

Angela (@MaterialGirl850) of The Hollywood Revue analyzes and assesses “Oscar’s Most Awkward Year,” 1928-1929.

Murtaza (@apotofvestiges) reviews The Master, “a multifaceted work of cinema that can be enjoyed at so many levels,” at A Potpourri of Vestiges.

Dawn at Noir and Chick Flicks explores why Blood and Sand (1941) won Best Cinematography.

Dan (@PGCooper) from PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews takes a look at 12 classic films that, despite being worthy of Best Picture and Best Director nods, received none at all.

Lê (@startspreading) at Crítica Retrô gives her take on Oscar and the surprising 1950s.

Joel (@joelrwilliams1) of Joel’s Classic Film Passion appraises three Oscar-winning or -nominated foreign films from the 1980s.

R.A. (@925screenings) at Silver Screenings briefs us on why Miriam Hopkins was perfect for the role of Becky Sharp.

Karen (@TheDarkPages) highlights 10 Oscar-Less Dames Their Oscar-Worthy Roles at Shadows and Satin.

Kimberly (@glamamor) at GlamAmor surveys Audrey Hepburn’s amazing, and non-nominated, wardrobe in Two for the Road.

Marlee (@MarleeWalters) of Spoilers bestows the First Annual Muse Awards to Ida Lupino, Gene Tierney, and Gloria Grahame.

31 Days of Oscar update

Time for an update on the 31 Days of Oscar blogathon (full rundown at the original post). We’re a little more than a couple of weeks out from the first deadline. Publish your post and email me the link by any one of the following dates: January 31, February 7, February 14, February 21 and February 28.

The nominations were announced on Jan. 10, providing as much fodder for blog posts as any other’s, maybe more. Right away, I was aware of what I consider to be one major snub: Ben Affleck for Argo, and now that I’ve seen Zero Dark Thirty, I think Kathryn Bigelow was snubbed as well. Of course, the format of the Best Picture nominations, where 5-10 movies are tapped, virtually guarantees that there will be snubs. Is the Academy crazy, or crazy like a fox? Sounds like an idea for a blog post, speaking of which here’s some topic prompts (new ones at the end of the list):

  • Is there a film, performance or art or technical work the non-nomination of which you feel is a crime? Tell us about it.
  • Sometimes the Oscar seems to hinder, not help, someone’s career, including but not limited to the “Best Supporting Actress Curse.” Discuss.
  • Special Achievement Awards and Board of Governors’ Honorary Oscars…do you dare go there? Who should have gotten a competitive Oscar, and/or who might win an honorary Oscar the future?
  • Spotlight on sound editing and sound mixing, or any other unfairly neglected award.
  • Your favorite/the most influential Best Costume winners/nominees/should-have-beens through the years, or just focus on one.
  • Short films are often given short shrift…throw some love on your favorite.
  • Cinematography and editing vs.directing…the auteur theory, etc. Discuss, using Oscar-winning examples.
  • The Oscars still create the most hoopla, but should we be paying more attention to other awards, such as the Golden Globes or (fill in the blank)?

NEW:

  • The Academy’s rules for selection of the Best Picture dictate that any film receiving 5 percent or more of first place votes is nominated, so that a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 are in the running each year. This year there are 9 nominees, but there are still only 5 Best Director nods. Discuss the implications and ramifications of this set-up.
  • Judi Dench famously won a Oscar for her 6 flawless minutes in Shakespeare in Love. If there was an Oscar for cameos, who would be nominated, and who would win?
  • It’s generally accepted that actors and directors, and possibly other filmmakers, may receive an Oscar for a previous year’s, or an entire career’s, work, sometimes referred to as a “cumulative Oscar.” Do you think this is legit or totally unfair? Discuss.
  • Academy…why so serious? Certain genres are overlooked every year, generally speaking comedy, adventure, and science fiction are rarely given nods. Is this due to the overall age of the Academy, or other factor(s)?
  • Final Oscar ballots aren’t due until the Tuesday before Oscar Sunday; this year that is Feb. 19. Any answer to this question is likely to be pure speculation but: Do the other awards influence voting?
  • As reported last year, the Academy is overwhelmingly white, male and over the age of 60. Only 2% of the Academy is under the age of 40. Discuss.

If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment or email me at paula.guthat[at]gmail.com. So far our Oscar bloggers, in addition to myself, Kellee at Outspoken & Freckled, and Aurora of Once Upon A Screen are…

Fernando – Committed to Celluloid
R. A. Kerr – Silver Screenings
Ruth – Flix Chatter
Lê – Critica Retro
Kevin aka “Jack Deth”
Paddy – Caftan Woman
Vanessa – Black & White All Over
Iba – I luv cinema
Le0pard13 – It Rains, You Get Wet
Joel – Joel’s Classic Film Passion
Lindsey – The Motion Pictures
The Gal herself – One Gals’ Musings
Paul – Lasso The Movies
Ivan – Thrilling Days of Yesteryear 
Jessica – Comet Over Hollywood
Kay – Movie Star Makeover
The Lady Eve – The Lady Eve’s Reel Life
Kimberly – GlamAmor

Announcing the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon

The envelope please…

The winners, the losers, the snubs, the back stories, the gossip, the players, the games…this time it’s all about Oscar!

We’re back! Myself, Kellee (@IrishJayhawk66) of Outspoken and Freckled, and Aurora (@CitizenScreen) of Once Upon a Screen are hosting a new, mammoth blogathon event that coincides with Turner Classic Movies’ 31 Days of Oscar, February 1 to March 3, 2013. It’ll be a month filled with fabulous tales and screen wonders.

But this one is not just for classic film fare; we want to see and hear it all from the golden man’s more than eighty-year history, up to and including this year’s nominees. And you don’t have to stick to just Best Picture or acting winners. Posts about nominees or winners in all the other categories…Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Cinematography, etc….are more than welcome.

The details:

Let us know what you’ll be writing about by email [paula.guthat[at]gmail.com] or leave us a comment.

Submit links to as many posts as you would like by email or by comments in time for any of the following due dates throughout the month. Submissions should include as much information about you as possible: First name, Twitter username, link(s) to your site(s) and email address.

January 31
February 7
February 14
February 21
February 28

We’ll promote entries for an entire week after each due date. If you have a preferred promotion date, please make a note of that as well.  However, we welcome all submissions by any of the dates specified. Don’t forget to include your Twitter handle if you have one.

This is the banner I created for the blogathon. We encourage you display it on your site to help promote this event and cannot wait to hear from you. Happy blogging!

31-Days-450x300

UPDATE: I have so many ideas for this blogathon, far more than I could ever tackle myself, so I offer these as topics for posts or inspiration thereof:

  • Is there a film, performance or art or technical work the non-nomination of which you feel is a crime? Tell us about it.
  • Sometimes the Oscar seems to hinder, not help, someone’s career, including but not limited to the “Best Supporting Actress Curse.” Discuss.
  • Special Achievement Awards and Board of Governors’ Honorary Oscars…do you dare go there? Who should have gotten a competitive Oscar, and/or who might win in the future?
  • Spotlight on sound editing and sound mixing, or any other unfairly neglected award.
  • Your favorite/the most influential Best Costume winners/nominees/should-have-beens through the years, or just focus on one.
  • Short films are often given short shrift…throw some love on your favorite.
  • Cinematography and editing vs.directing…the auteur theory, etc. Discuss, using Oscar-winning examples.
  • The Oscars still create the most hoopla, but should we be paying more attention to other awards, such as the Golden Globes or (fill in the blank)?

That’s all for now…I will add more when I think of them.

Evil Dead and a greedy family haunt the Redford Theatre

Our friends at the Redford Theatre are treating Detroit horror fans to two frightening classics this weekend. On Friday October 26th only, there will be a midnight showing of Evil Dead (1981), the now-classic story of the doomed trip to an isolated cabin in the woods undertaken by a group of college students. The film has quite a few Michigan connections. Writer/director/producer Sam Raimi and star/producer Bruce Campbell both hail from the Mitten, and a rough cut of the film, then known by its working title Within the Woods, was shown to potential investors at the former Punch & Judy Theater in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Most importantly for Friday’s showing, Evil Dead was first shown at the Redford Theatre back on October 15, 1981, and went on to become one of the best-loved and most influential horror movies ever. Don’t miss this opportunity to see all the blood and gore (it’s rated NC-17 for a reason) on the big screen. The organ overture begins at 11:30pm. Tickets are $5.00.

936full-the-cat-and-the-canary-posterIf goofy monochrome horror is more to your taste, never fear, the Redford has you covered too. On Saturday, they’ll be showing the rarely-seen silent, The Cat and the Canary, starring Laura La Plante. Heirs to a fortune find themselves spending the night at a menacing mansion, where mysterious and eerie things happen throughout the night. La Plante can only inherit her old relative’s money if she is declared sane in the morning.

Tony O’Brien will accompany the film on the Barton Theatre Pipe Organ, and as a bonus, the silent short The Haunted House starring Buster Keaton will precede the feature. The evening begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for this showing are $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for children 12 and under.

MHDL'S Fan Magazine Collection takes you back in movie time

A while back, I happened upon possibly the only site that may be a bigger time suck than tumblr….the Fan Magazine Collection put together by Media History Digital Library (MHDL). This remarkable archive contains full-page scans of magazines that you can browse through or even download to your computer for later consumption.

All’s well at M-G-M “the happy lot:” (L to R) Madge Evans, Robert Montgomery, Marie Dressler, John Gilbert, Anita Page, Joan Crawford and Clark Gable. Photoplay, May 1932.

The star of the show is MHDL’s complete set of Photoplay magazine, comprising all the issues from 1914 until 1940. These magazines are a gold mine for the classic movie fan…in just one issue, I found publicist-approved info like Mary Pickford’s secret for staying slim (hint: skip lunch), Clark Gable’s explanation of some pesky rumors, Myrna Loy and Carole Lombard’s hairdo tips, and addresses for all the stars, plus tons of images. They are also fascinating cultural artifacts, a window into U.S. society’s past concerns (which haven’t actually changed all that much.) This site will occupy more of your time than you probably can spare.

Joan Blondell. Photoplay, May 1932.

 

One of Photoplay’s interesting and often hilarious features is “The Audience Talks Back,” in which fans air their critiques and grievances. It’s like Twitter…only longer and on paper:

“No matter what the critics write, the audience always has the final word” — Letters to Photoplay, May 1932.

 

I cannot even imagine the work that went into scanning these, and MHDL has even more collections…for instance, the Early Cinema archive covers several publications from 1904 to 1919. All the collections are listed here. MHDL is a non-profit organization, “dedicated to digitizing collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access…We have currently scanned over 400,000 pages, and that number is growing.” The scanning is paid for by collectors and donors, so if you see the value in any of this, please support their work — there’s a “Donate” button in the right sidebar.

Photoplay, April 1932.

TCM Week – July 16-22

TCM has some really intriguing stuff scheduled for this week. Crank up the DVR and let’s go…as usual, all times are Eastern.

Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in GUNGA DIN

Monday, July 16
TCM’s Classic Adventure series continues with a full 24 hours of rip-roaring action. Must-sees include The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland at 2:00 Eastern; Gunga Din (1939) starring Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Victor McLaglen at 4:00 p.m.; and The Thief of Baghdad (1924) with Douglas Fairbanks and Anna May Wong at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Joan Crawford in OUR MODERN MAIDENS

Tuesday, July 17
Today kicks off with a couple of silents, The Sheik (1921) starring Rudolph Valentino, and Our Modern Maidens (1929) with soon-to-be newlyweds Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The latter is the first of a block of eight ’20s and ’30s films directed by Jack Conway. Conway began as an actor in D. W. Griffiths’ Westerns and moved into directing, first at Universal, then at MGM, where he proved to be adept and prolific. He worked cost-effectively in all genres, bringing pictures in on time and within budget, a capability that endeared him to studio honchos Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer. He is probably best known for A Tale of Two Cities (1935), starring Ronald Colman and Elizabeth Allan, and one of my all-time favorites, Libeled Lady (1936). Enjoy his work until George Cukor takes over at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Star of the Month: Leslie Howard
I am a huge fan of Leslie Howard, but even I have to admit he was horribly miscast in Romeo and Juliet (1936), scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Though the film is gorgeous, Howard, in his forties, and his Juliet, Norma Shearer, in her mid-thirties, are both too old to portray a teenaged couple caught up in their first love. (Shakespearean scholars estimate that a real Romeo would have been 16 or 17 years of age and it’s directly mentioned in the text that Juliet has just turned 13.) But the rest of Howard’s films tonight — A Free Soul and Smilin’ Through, both also with Shearer, and Outward Bound (Howard’s Hollywood debut) and Captured! both with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. — look pretty interesting.

Wednesday, July 18
Tonight’s block of early Francis Ford Coppola work includes You’re A Big Boy Now at 8:00 p.m., The Rain People at 10:00 p.m., Dementia 13 at 12:00 a.m. Thursday, and Finian’s Rainbow at 1:30 a.m. I wouldn’t recommend Finian’s but I’m keeping an open mind about the rest.

Thursday, July 19
Apparently today’s films have a theme: jail. Whether it’s women behind bars (Caged, House of Women (1962)), escape (House of Numbers) or riot (Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison), TCM has every kind of filmic incarceration one could want during the daytime hours. I’ll be sure to record Ladies They Talk About, which stars Barbara Stanwyck as a gangster’s moll sent up for her role in a bank robbery.

At 8:00 p.m., TCM is featuring The Science of Movie Making, a block co-hosted by sound designer Ben Burtt and visual effects supervisor Craig Barron, both Oscar-winners in their fields, who have chosen films that have inspired them.

Friday, July 20
Stanwyck Pre-codes
***TCM PARTY***
Presumably in honor of Ms. Stanwyck’s 105th birthday (July 16), TCM has scheduled four films she made before enforcement of Hollywood’s Motion Picture Production Code (aka Hays Code) began in 1934. The pre-codes include Shopworn (1932), Ten Cents A Dance (1931), Illicit (1931) and Forbidden (1932). Look for us on Twitter…watch and tweet along with #TCMParty.

Saturday, July 21
To Have and Have Not (1944)
***TCM PARTY***
In Martinique during World War II, a fishing-boat captain (Humphrey Bogart) gets mixed up with the French Resistance and a beautiful saloon singer (Lauren Bacall). This was Bacall’s first film and she was such a natural that screenwriter William Faulkner started adding to her part. The critics said it had “much more character than story” and that it was “confusing and klutzy, the ending is weak, and the secondary characters are poor substitutes for Casablanca‘s (1942) memorable cast of heroes and villains” but I think it’s great. Look for us on Twitter…watch and tweet along with #TCMParty. Guest hosted by @joelrwilliams1.

http://youtu.be/90IxpYZjCOE

Sunday, July 22
If you haven’t seen Christmas in July (1940) at 10:30 a.m., Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) at 2:00 p.m., or The Great Escape (1963) at 8:00 p.m., definitely tune in for those. There’s a silent at 12:30 a.m. Monday, The Mating Call, and at 2:00 a.m. there’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo – 1963), starring Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon. Set in the early 1860s during the turmoil that preceded Italy’s unification, the film follows the slow fall of aristocratic Prince Fabrizio (Lancaster) and the parallel rise of upstart Tancredi (Delon). This film has lavish detail, gorgeously shot, and is unfortunately dubbed (you can’t have everything). It’s also a very poignant film, infused with a sense of nostalgia for a lost time and the inevitability of one generation letting another take over.

TCM Week – April 23-29

Monday, April 23
There seems to be a lot of good ’20s-’30s stuff on this morning and into the afternoon that I have never seen before, including most of the all-silent Laurel & Hardy block:
6:30 a.m. Putting Pants on Phillip (1927)
7:00 a.m. You’re Darn Tootin’ (1928)
8:00 a.m. Habeas Corpus (1928)
8:30 a.m. Big Business (1929)
9:00 a.m. Double Whoopee (1929)
9:30 a.m. Angora Love (1929)

1:15 p.m. It Happened In Hollywood (1937)
“A silent Western star has trouble adjusting to the coming of sound.” With Richard Dix, Fay Wray and Franklin Pangborn, who also has a role in Living on Love (1937) at 2:30 p.m.

There’s a Western block beginning at 8:00 p.m., including Ambush, Ride Lonesome with Randolph Scott, and Geronimo. One of my few favorites, Stagecoach, is on at 1:00 a.m. (Tues.). I don’t think anybody needs to see this quite as many times as Orson Welles, who reportedly watched it 70 times while he was making Citizen Kane, but I’m still going to DVR it.

Tuesday, April 24
8:00 p.m. The Way We Were (1973)
***TCM PARTY***
This day is singer/actress/director/Taurus Barbra Streisand’s 70th birthday and TCM is celebrating with a bunch of her movies beginning at 8 p.m. and going on into Wednesday morning. Our TCM Party, guest hosted by @CitizenScreen, is probably one of the best of Streisand’s films and certainly one of the most referenced in TV and movies. Complicated and serious Katie (Streisand) is in love with her total opposite, easygoing Hubbell (Robert Redford). Their different approaches to life drive them apart against the scary backdrop of the McCarthyist witch hunts of the 1940s.  Join us by tweeting with #TCMParty…my late mother would be proud.

Wednesday, April 25
3:00 p.m. Crossplot (1969)
In the 1960s, an adman woos women at all hours and, with his loyal secretary’s help, manages to successfully deal with clients as well. Not Don Draper…Roger Moore, apparently as an art director, with his future M, Bernard Lee, in a supporting role. Yeah, I’ll be setting the DVR.

Thursday, April 26
Directed by John Cromwell
8:00 p.m. Sweepings (1933)
Of Human Bondage (1934) director John Cromwell’s first film at RKO is a comedy about a department store founder (Lionel Barrymore) who works his fingers to the bone to build a legacy for his underwhelmed children.

Friday, April 27
8:00 p.m. Stage Door (1937)
***TCM PARTY***
Chosen by the TCM Party people (or those who voted anyway), tonight’s film follows the girls who stay at the Footlights Club, a boarding house for struggling New York actresses. It’s fun and snappy, with much of the dialogue improvised or taken from the stars’ actual conversations and re-written by the director, Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey). The cast includes Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller, and Lucille Ball. Tweet along with #TCMParty.

Saturday, April 28
Trevor Howard Block
Almost always described as a scene-stealer, Howard was never a big Hollywood star but he worked steadily for five decades. TCM’s got five of his films, beginning with The Third Man at 8 p.m. and continuing with the heartbreaking Brief Encounter (which basically established British film in the US), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), and The Golden Salamander. His performance in Third Man is so appropriate to the character…quiet, understated, but so persuasive.

Sunday, April 29
7:00 a.m. The Falcon Takes Over (1942)
Yes, this is a poorly disguised version of the novel Farewell, My Lovely, which the producers bought from Raymond Chandler for a measly $2000 and bizarrely grafted onto another writer’s detective character. The title was even pinched from another film, The Saint Takes Over. But George Sanders is in it, so it’s here.

12:45 a.m. (Mon.) A Modern Musketeer (1917)
***TCM PARTY***
Our resident silent film expert @tpjost is hosting this TCMP, in which Douglas Fairbanks plays both D’Artagnan of The Three Musketeers and a contemporary version thereof, a guy whose gallantry and daring can match any 17th century swashbuckler. Look for us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

 

 

 

TCM Week – April 2-8

Monday, April 2
6:45 a.m. Born to Dance (1936)
Eleanor Powell and James Stewart in a good old-fashioned (by that I mean, sorta corny) musical full of mistaken identity and misunderstandings.

8 p.m. Doris Day Block
TCM salutes the Star of the Month Doris Day with 28 movies beginning tonight at 8 p.m. with her musicals. I never knew that Day idolized Ginger Rogers and wanted to become a dancer. She thought her dream was lost when she was injured in a car wreck as a teenager. She learned to sing while recovering and was soon a huge recording star, but she was quite nervous about dancing in Tea for Two because she hadn’t danced in years.
8:00 p.m. The Lullaby of Broadway (1951)
9:45 p.m. By The Light of the Silvery Moon  (1953)
11:30 p.m. My Dream Is Yours (1949)
1:15 a.m. (Tues.) On Moonlight Bay (1951)
3:00 a.m. (Tues.) Romance on the High Seas (1948)
4:45 a.m. (Tues.) Tea for Two (1950)

Tuesday, April 3
9:45 a.m. The Fugitive Kind (1960)
Film version of Tennessee Williams’ play Orpheus Descending, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. A really weird movie.

8:00 p.m. Lover Come Back (1961)
***TCM PARTY***
Tonight’s Doris Day block begins with this ad-biz comedy in which Day and Rock Hudson play account execs for rival agencies. Their work philosophies and client relations skills are drastically, hilariously different (to say the least). Guest hosted by @mercurie80. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

Wednesday, April 4
Doris Day Block
Tonight TCM spotlights Doris Day’s dramatic talents in four films: Midnight Lace (1960), Storm Warning (1951), The Winning Team (1952), and Julie (1956). Disturbingly she is beset by creepers in two of them.

Thursday, April 5
8:00 p.m. Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)
***TCM PARTY***
A drama critic and his wife have a difficult period of adjustment when they decide to move from New York City into the suburbs. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

Friday, April 6
9:45 a.m. Jewel Robbery (1932)
Don’t miss William Powell as a well-mannered jewel thief who’s fallen in love with his mark (Kay Francis). Their chemistry is pretty close to what he had going with Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy. Did I mention it’s a pre-Code?

12:45 p.m. The Man with Two Faces (1934)
This sounds really interesting. Edward G. Robinson plays an actor trying to shield his sister from her murderous husband, who seems to have her under some kind of hypnotic spell.

Saturday, April 7
3:00 p.m. The Great Escape (1963)
***TCM PARTY***
It is well-known to you all that I have a thing for World War II movies; not all of them are good, but this one is. A bunch of Allied soldiers try to dig their way out of a German POW camp — it’s the sworn duty of every British officer to attempt to escape! Based on a true story, it stars Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and James Coburn. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

6:00 p.m. 4 for Texas (1963)
Rat Pack Western.

Rita Hayworth Block
I’ve seen the first two of these and not the others but I doubt you can really go wrong.
8:00 p.m. Gilda (1946)
10:00 p.m. The Lady From Shanghai (1948)
11:45 p.m. Fire Down Below (1957) With Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon. Personally I’d tune in just for that.
2:00 a.m. (Sun.) The Happy Thieves (1961)

Sunday, April 8
TCM features mostly Christian-themed films today. One that caught my eye airs at midnight, Leaves from Satan’s Book (1919), a Danish silent film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It depicts various historical events from the point of view of the “disheartened” Satan.

TCM Week spotlights a highly subjective selection of the week’s essential or undiscovered films on the Turner Classic Movies channel to help plan movie viewing, DVR scheduling or TCM Party attendance. All times are EST.

 

TCM Week: March 26-April 1

Monday, March 26
2:45 p.m. Zero Hour! (1957)
I’ll be tuning into this for two reasons, one being Dana Andrews, and and the other this oddly Airplane!-like synopsis: “When a flight crew falls ill, the only man who can land the plane is afraid of flying.”

8:00 p.m. Kes (1970)
10:00 p.m. Darling (1965)
***TCM PARTY***
The last Monday of British New Wave Month kicks off with Kes, about a teenager whose only escape from the chaos around him is a falcon, and Darling, about a model in the Swinging ’60s. It continues with The Pumpkin Eater (1964) at 12:15 a.m., and The Knack…and How To Get It (1965) at 2:30 a.m. Guest hosted by @mercurie80.

Tuesday, March 27
Robert Mitchum Block
Beginning at 8 p.m. with Cape Fear (1962), TCM features 5 films starring one of the toughest dudes around, Robert Mitchum. He is truly psychopathic in Cape Fear and The Night of the Hunter (1955), both of which are difficult for me to watch, but I still recommend them.

Wednesday, March 28
British actor Dirk Bogarde is featured in a block beginning at noon: The Spanish Gardener (1956), Libel (1959), The Password Is Courage (1962) and Damn the Defiant (1962).

Thursday, March 29
3:00 p.m. The King’s Thief (1955)
George Sanders Alert
As he did in Forever Amber, Sanders plays Charles II in a swashbuckler that doesn’t require much thought. I mean that in the best way.

6:15 p.m. The Man Who Laughs [L’uomo che ride] (1966)
Remake of the 1928 silent which starred Conrad Veidt.

10:00 p.m. Dirigible (1931)
Very early Frank Capra work in which two pilots try to take a dirigible to the South Pole. Sounds really odd but it’s Capra.

Friday, March 30
8:30 a.m. Random Harvest (1942)
Paula (Greer Garson) is a nice showgirl who takes in a “John Smith” from the local asylum (Ronald Colman) only to lose him when he recovers his memory, discovers that he is really a rich guy and forgets all about her. Such a romantic film. No, really. Trust me.

6:30 p.m. Beware, My Lovely (1952)
I bet you thought I was going to pick The Seven Year Itch or Lost Weekend? Both are pretty good, especially Lost Weekend. Instead, I’ve got to shill for Beware, My Lovely, sort of a film noir/thriller hybrid that stars tough cookie Ida Lupino as a widow who discovers her handyman (Robert Ryan) is really a ticking time bomb of homicidal paranoia. Some really interesting angles make it a class on subjective camera.

Saturday, March 31
1:30 p.m. Stagecoach (1939)
Orson Welles allegedly watched this 70 times while making Citizen Kane, you might want to check it out at least once.

8:00 p.m. Sunrise (1927)
***TCM PARTY***
I really want see this one because it was directed by F.W. Murnau of Nosferatu fame. That film is one of the few silents I’ve seen on a big screen (OK, it’s also one of the few silents I’ve seen anywhere) and it really scares me, so I’m interested to see what he does with this story of major drama brought on an innocent married couple through the corrupting influence of a woman from the city. Guest hosted by @tpjost.

Sunday, April 1
So many good films today…wow. One crazy-sounding one is scheduled for 6:00 a.m., Hips, Hips, Hooray (1934), the plot of which is described as “the pretext for some delightfully anarchic gags.” Otherwise, you can tune pretty much any time today and not go too far wrong.

TCM Week spotlights a highly subjective selection of the week’s essential or undiscovered films on the Turner Classic Movies channel to help plan movie viewing, DVR scheduling or TCM Party attendance. All times are EST.

 

TCM Week: Feb 27-March 4

TCM Week spotlights a highly subjective selection of the week’s essential or undiscovered films on the Turner Classic Movies channel to help plan movie viewing, DVR scheduling or TCM Party attendance. All times are EST.

Monday, February 27
As I’ve been saying all month, with the 31 Days of Oscar (ending March 2), it’s really difficult to go wrong. There’s a lot of well-known ones on the schedule for today, so I wanted to spotlight 1947’s Boomerang (3:00 p.m.), a lesser-known film noir considered by its director Elia Kazan to be his “breakthrough film,”  in which he applied newsreel-style documentary techniques to Hollywood storytelling. However, he didn’t really value his star, Dana Andrews, so I’m interested to see how it all worked out. Nominated for Best Screenplay.


Tuesday, February 28

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
***TCM PARTY***
John Huston directs a story by Rudyard Kipling in which a couple of ne’er-do-well British Army officers (Sean Connery and Michael Caine) are mistaken for gods and live it up…until the day they’re found out. Nominated for Best Art Direction, Costume Design, Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Wednesday, February 29
6:00 a.m. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
I was so surprised to read about the tortuous production of this film. If it had a Facebook profile, its relationship status would be “It’s complicated.” And yet it turned out perfectly. Starring Conrad Veidt as the evil Jaffar and Sabu as the titular thief; directed by Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell and Tim Whelan (see what I mean?)

Gene Tierney as Poppy in The Shanghai Gesture.

8:00 p.m. The Shanghai Gesture (1941)
“[A] tale of murder and mayhem in a Chinese bordello” directed by Josef von Sternberg of The Blue Angel and Morocco fame. Nominated for Best Art Direction and Musical Score.

Thursday, March 1
10:30 p.m. From Here to Eternity (1953)
***TCM PARTY***
Various military personnel (Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra) and their wives/girlfriends (Donna Reed, Deborah Kerr) experience trials and tribulations in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Won Best Picture, Director (Fred Zinneman), Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Sinatra), Supporting Actress (Reed), Cinematography, Editing, and Sound Recording. Nominated for Best Actor (Clift and Lancaster), Actress (Kerr), Costume Design, and Score. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Friday, March 2
2:00 p.m. A Guy Named Joe (1943)
WWII pilot Pete (Spencer Tracy) is shot down and sent back to Earth to show a newbie flyer (Van Johnson) the ropes. Complications ensue when Ted begins courting civilian pilot Dorinda (Irene Dunne), who was Pete’s girl. I love this movie…guaranteed waterworks. Nominated for Best Writing (Original Story).

11:30 p.m. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
***TCM PARTY***
Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Saturday, March 3
8:00 p.m. Some Like It Hot (1959)
***TCM PARTY***
I watch this every time it’s on and I think I recommend it every time. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play musicians on the run from gangsters; the only band they can join is women-only. The grand-daddy of Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Bosom Buddies. The 31 Days of Oscar ends on Friday, but I just want to point out that Hot won Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Director, Actor (Lemmon), Art Direction, Cinematography, and Writing. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Sunday, March 4
12:15 a.m. (Mon.) The Temptress (1926)
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know too awful much about silents. But I’m learning. This is one and it stars Greta Garbo as a, um, temptress.

4:00 a.m. (Mon.) La Jetée (1962)
A short film about time travel, created almost entirely from still photos, La Jetée influenced works as varied as a Sigue Sigue Sputnik video and 12 Monkeys.